Thursday, May 15, 2014

Library of Congress to archive "Arizona Geology" in historic collection of science blogs

I am delighted and honored to report that the US Library of Congress has selected this blog, “Arizona Geology” for inclusion in the Library’s historic collection of Science Blogs.   Their message said, “We consider your website to be an important part of this collection and the historical record.”

“The Library of Congress preserves the Nation’s cultural artifacts and provides enduring access to them. The Library’s traditional functions, acquiring, cataloging, preserving and serving collection materials of historical importance to the Congress and the American people to foster education and scholarship, extend to digital materials, including websites.”

The Science Blog archive was only started in 2013.   The Library's Jennifer Harbster herself blogged that "The main goal of the Science Blogs Collection will be to capture a representative sample of science research, writing, teaching and communication, as well as scientific discourse in the United States. The project will target science blogs that produce original thought and observations in all major scientific disciplines (earth sciences, physical sciences, and life sciences) for all audience levels, and in all categories (press, non-profit, personal, academic, government, etc)."
There is a set of criteria for nominating a blog. First and foremost it must be original thought, self sufficient. It cannot be a blog full of links to other blogs.

The following questions must be addressed:
  1. What is the usefulness of this information? (Example: does it help explain current U.S. science policy?)
  2. Will this blog supplement a preexisting collection? (Example: journals on a particular scientific topic)
  3. Does this blog have research value? This is a hard one to answer, but I look at the main topic of the blog and the author.  For example, a blog written by a scientist researching the melting ice caps includes data, photographs or other observations. I would consider to have  research value.
  4. Is the blog at risk? For example a blog from a funded science project that lasted a year could be at risk of being lost as new project blogs replace it, or when a publisher upgrades its software/website, it might not migrate the older content (e.g., blogs) to its new site.

So, now that I am an official historical relic, the next step is for them to have me stuffed and mounted for display.

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